Woman who died of overdose lay in Dunstable flat for two days while belongings were stolen

A Dunstable woman who died of a drug overdose lay on her living room floor for over two days while her associates stole belongings from her flat, an inquest heard.

Tuesday, 1st September 2020, 5:35 pm
Updated Tuesday, 1st September 2020, 6:28 pm

Kelly Bramwell, 39, was found by police dead at her home in High Street South in the early hours of Friday, August 9, last year.

Bedfordshire Police launched a murder probe after finding the flat in disarray, with items missing and traces of Ms Bramwell’s blood at the scene.

But at Ampthill Coroner’s Court on Thursday, it was stated that Ms Bramwell had lethal doses of methadone, heroin and other drugs in her system, and no signs of physical injuries.

Ampthill Coroner's Court; (inset) Kelly Bramwell

Senior Coroner Emma Whitting said: “It’s clear from the detailed report we’ve all had sight of, that there was an extensive police investigation into Kelly’s death.”

On August 9, 2019, police received a call from a man alerting them to a body at the address. He was not present when officers arrived, and they were instead met by a woman who told them her phone was used to make the call.

When police tried to force open the door of the flat, they found it gave way easily with just a brace against it from inside.

Giving evidence, DCI Jackie Dadd said: “Kelly was lying on the floor at that time. There were signs of blood and signs things within the flat had been moved or gone through.

“[The man and woman] were spoken in relation to their circumstances coming to the property and making the 999 call.

“Evidence was obtained to suggest other persons had been present before they had phoned police.”

Two men were tracked down by investigators.

“Both of these males were arrested and interviewed. [One] gave an account that he had been round to Kelly’s flat, had found her and had assisted in removing some items from her flat.

“[The other man] did not provide an account.”

The last record of Ms Bramwell alive was on Tuesday, August 6, when she made a phone call to her friend. The last sighting of her was on August 5, when she collected a prescription.

An eyewitness reported seeing activity at the flat on August 8 – the day before the body was found by police.

DCI Dadd added: “The conclusions were that it was clear Kelly was taking numerous prescription medications along with Class A drugs.

“She had been there for some time... Prior to finding her, there was a couple of days.

“There was nothing to suggest Kelly had any issues with anyone, and no suggestion she was in financial debt because of drug debts.”

Ms Bramwell’s mother attended the inquest and said: “It’s a year on, everything is a haze and I just want a conclusion.

“She'd been a drug addict for a long time. Being a nurse, I knew one day something would happen to Kelly and I tried to get her into rehab.

“When I say I’m not surprised, I don’t mean it’s because I am not caring.

"You can only abuse your body for so long.”

The coroner recorded a conclusion of a drug-related death and stated this was a case which should push society to pay more attention to drug dependency.

Mrs Whitting added: “It just remains for me to pass on my own condolences to you.”